I cannot emphasize how important it is to give your subject the place of importance in an image. It’s correct placement and the removal of any competition only makes the photo more effective. Besides creating memories that are truly memorable it gives an overall quality to your photos.
Let’s try something in order to illustrate this point. Go to your old photograph albums or shoebox full of snaps, or, if you’re totally digital the folders on your computer. If you have a photo album get yourself a box of those little red dot stickers that come on a roll. If you have a shoebox of snaps get ready to sort them and if you’re digital get ready to drag and drop into two new folders.
Now here’s what to do. Choose a selection of your images i.e. the first 10 pages of the album, a pile from your shoebox or a folder on your computer. Sort them into two piles, drag them into two folders or place a red dot on the images in the album. The way in which you need to sort them is like this. In one pile place all the images that have a clear subject. If the subject can be clearly identified as the central focus of the photo put it in one pile, drag it to a folder on your PC or place a red dot on it in the album.
So what’s the purpose of this exercise? What I am trying to illustrate is that you will probably find that the pile, folder or red dots will be much smaller or fewer than the other pile. Why? Because most people just don’t give the right amount of attention to their subjects. It’s remarkable but it’s true. Without any subject, focal point or an object of attention the image can only be mediocre. A photo needs a clear subject. Here’s how to improve your photos.
1. Choose a clear subjectIf you’re at a family gathering don’t just take general photos of large groups. Zone in on people and create smaller groups of twos and threes. Make sure that when someone views your images the subject clearly says, ‘I am the subject’. In every theatre play or movie there is always an actor that takes the lead and can clearly be identified. The same goes for your images. If the subject is not clear then it’s not clear.
2. Be selectiveThe problem faced by many amateur photographers is that there are too many subjects and they’re not sure which to include. The answer is simple, be more selective. Narrow down the options and shoot just one. If the others are important then feature them in their own images. Rather take three images each with its own subject than one in which no one can identify the subject. The focal point is vitally important as it draws the eye.
The Importance of the Subject in Your Photography – PictureCorrect: